Empowering Women in Tech Summit 2018

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The Perspektywy ‘Women in Tech Summit’ in Warsaw hosted several technology companies, including Dell EMC. These companies, as partners in the conference, brought together some of the most dedicated female professionals who offered their powerful perspective on the future of women in technology.

Both Patricia Florissi (Distinguished Engineer and Vice President & Global CTO for Sales) and Anja Monrad (Senior Vice President & General Manager CEE) were warmly welcomed by hundreds of people from across the globe.

The ‘Women in Tech Summit’ was by far the biggest event of this type in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The summit focused on females in IT, and included students, professionals, scientists and innovators. There were nearly 3,000 participants, 100 speakers from 20 different countries, and over 40 fully booked workshops. Dell EMC’s booth at the expo was filled with passionate young women. More than 40 Dell EMC employees dedicated their time to engaging with participants. The atmosphere was electric, and it made me feel proud to be a part of such an important event. Being a young woman undertaking the Graduate Sales Trainee Program, and beginning my career in the IT industry, it was humbling to be surrounded by so many successful and inspirational women.

POLISH TEAM JOINS THE SUMMIT

It’s been a long time coming for The Women in Action Organization to take part in an event of this scale. I felt truly honored to talk to these amazing women and learn more about their opinions and personal achievements. It was also interesting to understand how deeply Dell EMC is involved in these achievements.

“It was something we wanted to organize for a very long time. We were included in all the steps of the planning process and we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve” said Aneta Sepka, the Leader of Women in Action in Warsaw.

“It was a massive success for all of us. We did not expect it” she added smiling, reflecting on all of all the achievements of the event, mentioning: “an unexpected massive number of participants, the presence of our two incredible keynote speakers, and positive feedback received from the participants.”

“We delivered a strong and positive message. We showed the female face of the company. We made Dell EMC more approachable for future employees. It was a team effort we should all be proud of. This event gave us a strength to keep on going. It’s like a domino effect. We made it happen this time. Now we believe we can do anything” – summed up by another of these extraordinary women, Agnieszka Krawczyk. “We see that what we do, gives effects. That’s the most motivational thing in the world.”

“It was a year of hard work filled with endless meetings and sleepless nights. We wouldn’t have made it without a support from the men in our office” admitted all the women surrounding me in this small conference room, and I couldn’t agree more.

The tremendous amount of work and effort that came from Women in Action made it possible to bring us together at the Women in Tech Summit. It has changed the way empowerment is perceived by both women and men in the Warsaw office. I feel as though there aren’t enough women in the IT industry and it’s something we should all work hard on changing; and from what I saw and experienced, big changes are on the horizon.

Dell EMC KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Anja Monrad: We need diversity and inclusion

“I’m here because I’m successful” Anja Monrad confidently stated at the beginning of her speech, captivating the audience. “I’m pretty sure that not a lot of you would stand on the stage in front of hundreds of people and say that”. It was interesting to hear a successful business woman’s reflection on her career path. The honor of closing the largest Women in Tech Summit ever hosted in Poland was given to Anja, and she took this in her stride like she did with everything else in her career.

Throughout her career, Anja shared that she has often found herself the only female in the room. This led her to believe she joined an industry that is still considered by most “a man’s world”. By simply judging the audience’s reaction, it was clear to me that the same view was shared by most of the summit attendees.

“We need women to join IT and we need it for multiple reasons. Most importantly because the future should be seen by as many diverse pairs of eyes as possible”

“Anja’s speech proved the point that a lot of women in the IT industry have been trying to make for decades. Women are ready to lead the new generations and are more than qualified to do so. We don’t need anyone to tell us that we can do it. We know it already” – summed up Ula Graczykowska, a part of polish marketing team.

Patricia Florissi: This is The Most Exciting Time in Technology and Science

Patricia Florissi was amongst the top global speakers that were present to support the work and the mission of the Perspektywy ‘Woman in Tech Summit’.

“It is our time” said Patricia Florissi passionately. “It’s the Renaissance time. It’s Enlightenment phase. It’s whatever positive acronym you can come up with and the moment is ours”.

In her speech, Patricia argued that human beings were simply never built to participate in some activities. She believed we were waiting for robots to make those tasks easier or even replace them. What was extraordinary, was Patricia’s comparison of our reality with the one seen through Leonardo Da Vinci’s eyes, proving that technology’s presence was always with us throughout centuries.

Patricia’s attendance on the event genuinely impressed young women and professionals looking to hear about more complex topics. From the statistics gathered before the event, we knew exactly what all these women were expecting to hear. Surprisingly they didn’t want any power speeches. All they craved for were…hard skills. “Patricia’s speech was breathtaking, impressive and powerful. In her speech she really made something beautiful. She made both art and technology, history and our every-day reality meet.” – summed up Martyna Federkiewicz, part of the Dell EMC’s team that made this whole event happen.

“I have never tried it before, so I must be good at it”

In her speech, Anja Monrad used a famous Pipi Longstocking quote to show a bigger picture on the Impostor Syndrome. This where you may suffer from a lack of self-esteem and belief in your own abilities, that most of the women in IT struggle with in their careers. Anja confessed to the crowd that she was one of the individuals struggling with these issues for years before learning how to turn her weaknesses into strengths. Throughout the speech, she also explained her secrets to personal development. These included: finding the balance between learning and contributing, drawing conclusions from good experiences but never disregarding the bad, finding your own passions and creating meaningful relationships in your work environment.

Anja’s talk came to one important culmination: “Why would you assume you’re not going to be good at it. Assume you’ll be the best in the world to do it”, simply meaning that we should all learn how to use our natural skills to our full advantage.

Observing the women quietly raising their hands, nodding their heads, admitting to the same difficulties, made me wonder about the scale and impact of this problem and the differences in approach that employers worldwide are taking inside their supportive systems.

Women’s empowerment and the commitment to the expansion of the presence of female leaders and their development is a strong focus for Dell Technologies. At Dell EMC, there are several initiatives addressing female empowerment and taking actions towards a more understanding, supportive and better workplace.

Working to make sure everyone in the organization has a voice and is respected and included is an important value of Dell’s. Knowing this makes me feel so very proud. There is a certain feeling of satisfaction and peace while working for an employer that cares and supports women. This was shown through the inspirational keynote speakers representing Dell during the Perspektywy ‘Women in Tech Summit’. They had the audience absolutely enchanted.

To conclude, we are actively participating in the era of the biggest technological changes and the most exciting science. Diversity and inclusion in business delivers both social and professional values that we should use to make our workspace feel equal regardless of gender. What we should take from this summit is that both women and men can improve and drive technology towards a more collaborative world; but only if we do it together.

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